All in the Game: When you have to go, you go

Katie McCabe’s new Fifa 23 ranking; Beware Ronaldo’s sister

On Saturday, The Athletic caught up with Connor Maseko, the Blackfield and Langley goalkeeper who made the news after being sent off for having a wee during a game against Shepton Mallet last month.

Maseko thought he might pick up, well, a yellow for the offence, so was gobsmacked when the card was red. “It was not like he was brandishing his parts,” said his manager Conor McCarthy. “He was in the hedges having a wee … when you have to go, you have to go.”

It was far from a first, though. A quick, if risky, Google of goalkeeper pees during game produces an astounding number of results, among them Shettleston FC’s Garry Whyte in 2017 (“No red cards until I got dismissed for having a slash!”).

Plenty of outfield players have been caught in the act too, but goalkeepers appear to have a severe habit of being caught short. A good few got away with it, though, like Jens Lehmann and Fabien Barthez, and, most famously, Argentina’s Sergio Goycochea.


Before the penalty shoot-out against Yugoslavia in the quarter-finals of the 1990 World Cup, he had a wee on the pitch. Argentina won. He repeated the act before the semi-final shoot-out against Italy. Argentina won.

“So, from that moment on I did it before every shoot-out, it was my lucky charm,” he told the Guardian.

And nobody ever complained? “No, because I was very subtle. It was never a problem.” Except, maybe, for players rolling around in the penalty area. Mind you, just desserts.


“I very rarely feel sexy. Maybe you do, but I very rarely do. There is no Lamborghini on order. My life has not changed at all.”

He might be Chelsea gaffer now, but Graham Potter still isn’t feeling seductive.

Number: 84

That’s Katie McCabe’s score, out of 100, in the new Fifa 23 game, making her the 59th ranked player in the world. She should sue.

Pre-emptive strike

If you pay a visit to the fixtures section of the Scottish FA’s website you might need to do a double-take - they’re selling tickets for October 11th′s World Cup play-off between the women of Scotland and the Republic of Ireland at Hampden Park.

The problem here, of course, is that Scotland first have to beat Austria, on October 6th, to make it through to that game - if they lose, Ireland will be heading to Vienna and not Glasgow.

Granted, there’s a tight turnaround between the games, so you probably need to get your tickets on sale. Still, the mother of all fate-tempting, that.

Sisterly love

It’s long been known that anyone having a go at Cristiano Ronaldo risks the wrath of his mega protective sister Katia Aveiro who, through the years, has let rip at her beloved brother’s detractors.

Most memorably, perhaps, she didn’t take kindly to someone daubing Cristiano’s statue in his native Madeira with “Messi 10″: “My beautiful island is still inhabited by some frustrated savages who deserve to live in Syria.”

So, how is she taking the ever-increasing calls from the Portuguese press that he be dropped from the national team? Not great.

“The Portuguese spit on the plate they eat from, it has always been that way. They are sick, petty, soulless, stupid, ungrateful and forever ungrateful. Cristiano Ronaldo is just the best player in the world.” Don’t mess with Katia.


Darren Ambrose shared quite a yarn with talkSPORT last week about his former Crystal Palace manager Neil Warnock ahead of their 2010 FA Cup game against Wolves.

“He came in and said, ‘my wife Sharon had a dream last night…. she dreamt that my right-back scores the winning goal today - Danny Butterfield, you’re playing up front’.” And then Butterfield scored a hat-trick in 12 minutes.

“Every team talk after that all the fringe players were saying, ‘gaffer, has Sharon had a dream? Am I in the team, am I going to score?’”

At which point Paul Ifill revealed that Warnock dropped him from his Sheffield United team ahead of the derby against Wednesday in 2005 because his wife had had a dream. Former Republic of Ireland midfielder Alan Quinn came in and, of course, scored the winner, making him the first player to score for both Sheffield teams in the derby.

The English FA could do worse than replace Gareth Southgate with Sharon ahead of the World Cup.

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan is a sports writer with The Irish Times